Melbourne’s other Royal Botanical Garden

There is the well-known Royal Botanical Garden in the middle of Melbourne. Then there is also an offshoot of the Royal Botanical Garden some distance away from the city. It’s exact name is “Australian Garden” and it is part of Royal Botanical Gardens, Cranbourne.

I didn’t know this until recently. So today I decided to check it out.

First train to the end of the line, the Cranbourne line. Then walking through its town centre and parallel to South Gippsland Highway for some 3km. Then you reach a turn off where you walk off the highway for another 2km. Through a bit of suburbia before reaching bush and the outer bounds of the Australian Garden.

This is how I walked… a distance of 5.75km * 2 plus whatever I walked inside the gardens.

The walking described above may sound a bit drab, but it wasn’t. You pass the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club’s grounds where I saw both greyhounds and horses in training. And there is a generous patch of greenery between where you walk and the highway.

Getting there…

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I could not refrain from including the next 3 photos, all within a short distance of each other.

First, warning for snakes…

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Then bandicoots…

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And then wallabies…

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They forgot killer magpies…

As I was walking, I aimed to get inside Australian Garden as first point of entry. The visitor’s centre was some further distance away but you could get in here. An entry with a difference.

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Map of Australian Garden, lots to see… I arrived from the top of the map.

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I found out that Australian Garden is only 10 years old. They have done a top job!!

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Australian Garden contained everything from arid land to water ponds and creeks. And of course gardens. With stories to tell.

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Well maintained, landscaped and with a generous number of benches and places to rest and have picnic. Not a bad spot up there.

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A landscaped creek with the Visitor’s Centre in the background.

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The platforms below are just lovely.

After taking the photo and continuing walking to the left, there was noise. Plenty of noise from nesting birds.

And can you believe it, I was yet again swooped by a rather large seagull. Several times. Only later did I notice a signboard informing that “birds nesting, may swoop”. No sh*t!!

I suspect that it is my bright blue Mammut wind jacket agitating the birds. Its colour is much different to anything in nature. As other people were able to pass on the walkway without getting swooped.

Or maybe the birds just dislike me…

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After “fighting off” the gigantic flying murder machine, I continued my flaneuring. More water and landscaping…

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And even more so…

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Not just water but also various gardens like the last one on the sign to the right.

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There were several signs like the below scattered around Australian Garden. No surprises as bush land surrounds it. The dominant snake here is the tiger snake. Can be unpleasant if you get too close.

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Point taken… I was not allowed to proceed here. Why? Sighting of a tiger snake in the bush behind the bench. The barely visible bloke is the snake catcher. However, the snake got away.

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I stayed away from those nesting birds from earlier. The sign is the centre of this photo advises of that fact. I didn’t see it the first time. The birds are just behind it with little protection.

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I spent perhaps 2 hours on the grounds of Australian Garden. I had a cup of tea and a muffin from my own provisions while enjoying the tranquility. Apart from Swoopers and Snakes of course…

The earlier map is from my return to Cranbourne station. As is this photo. Can you see the two killer magpies on the ground? And the omission of that fact from the sign?

I saw no snakes today, but plenty of these flying kamikaze machines. Happy to report no magpie attack today. Must be close to the end of that season… Finally…

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My final photo is from the fence of Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club. There is a story here…

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I have always enjoyed country town Chinese food and I found an outlet in Cranbourne. Those rundown shabby places providing tasty food for minimum dollars. My late lunch today was a curried chicken with veggies and fried rice, consumed from the plastic carton on a little square in Cranbourne.

Love that stuff! Life’s good!

Conclusion: Australian Garden is such a positive surprise hidden away in Melbourne’s suburbia. Go there if you have a chance. You can easily cycle there from the station, but driving may be best.

Well, walking worked too!!

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